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maandag 12 maart 2018

RCGP: Decision to extend blood pressure drugs to more patients 'should not be taken lightly', says RCGP

Decision to extend blood pressure drugs to more patients 'should not be taken lightly', says RCGP

"One concern GPs already have is overdiagnosis - where we are giving a label to a situation thereby medicalising it, and prescribing medications when the benefits to the individual patient may be very limited. This can be harmful for patients both in terms of causing unnecessary anxiety, and in terms of taking medication that they might not need.

"We know that weight control, careful diet, and better exercise habits remain key ways to prevent or reduce hypertension. GPs readily advocate healthy lifestyle changes and discuss these with their patients where possible within the constraints of a standard 10-minute appointment.

"Nevertheless, it is important that clinical guidelines are updated to take into account the most current research and make recommendations of how to implement it in the best interests of patients. If NICE review current guidelines and consider lowering the threshold for hypertension, then this will be put forward for consultation and experts in the area will be encouraged to express their views.

"Patients should be aware that clinical guidelines are very useful for GPs when developing treatment plans, but they are not tramlines. GPs are highly trained to prescribe taking into account the circumstances of the individual patient sitting in front of them, including physical, physiological and social factors that might be affecting their health."

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RCGPNI responds to NI budget statement

Responding to the budget, RCGPNI Chair, Dr Grainne Doran said: "The College welcomes the increase in funding for health and social care. The whole health and social care system is under incredible strain and it is essential that the additional investment is spent strategically to help deliver transformation.

"We also welcome investment in mental health services. Waiting lists for treatment are currently unacceptable and we would welcome action to help remedy this - but it is important that any short-term investment is part of a long-term strategy.

"We cannot transform our health service without addressing the significant challenges in primary care – and recommendations to support GP services have been outlined in the GP-led Care Working Group Report. It is well recognised that a thriving general practice sector is a vital component to deliver health care transformation.

"Proposals have been made for implementing new models of multidisciplinary team working in the community – and to deliver this successfully, we must also invest in GP premises and facilities, quality improvement and training in primary care.

"As part of a long-term approach to reform, I would urge the Department of Health to support the essence of Delivering Together and the Systems: Not Structures reports by wisely investing in workforce and services to ensure lasting improvement in outcomes for patients."

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RCGP welcomes solutions suggested in latest NHS Reality Check report
She said: "We have huge empathy with our hospital colleagues, and we know that GPs around the UK would echo their sentiments around increasing workload, and concerns for patient safety. Our NHS is operating under immense pressures and we're sure that everyone working in the health system can relate to this report in one way or another. 
"The combination of a depleted workforce, intense workload, and chronic underfunding has left our health service on the brink, putting both staff and patient wellbeing at risk. 
"In general practice alone, our workload has risen by at least 16% over the last seven years, but investment in our service has not risen at the same pace – something surgeries up and down the country are now feeling on a day-to-day basis. 
"We agree with the recommendations made in the report that we need to make the UK more accessible and attractive to doctors from other countries, and that public initiatives to reduce patient need must be properly funded if the NHS is to see any benefit. 
"For general practice, NHS England's GP Forward View promises an extra £2.4bn a year for general practice, 5,000 more GPs, and 5,000 more members of the practice team, and we need to see it delivered, in full, and as a matter of urgency, so that GPs and our teams can provide the high-quality care our patients need and deserve." 
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